The Board of Trustees has unanimously selected a candidate to serve as the next President of Otis College of Art and Design. The name of the President-elect will be announced as soon as the appointment is formalized through appropriate documentation.
The search process has been a monumental undertaking for the entire Otis Community, and the Board appreciates the extent to which so many have participated in the process to identify Otis’ next President. The Board particularly wishes to thank the members of the Presidential Search Committee, who devoted countless hours to the search:
- Thomas R. Miller, Board Chair and Search Committee Co-Chair
- Elaine Goldsmith, Board Chair Emerita and Search Committee Co-Chair
- Jennifer Bellah Maguire, Trustee
- Susan Crank, Trustee
- Bronya Galef, Trustee
- Bryant Garth, Trustee
- Bob McKnight, Trustee
- Fred Fisher, Chair, Board of Governors
- Randall Lavender, Acting Provost
- Meg Cranston, Chair, Fine Arts
- Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Professor, Product Design & Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Jane Miyashiro, Director, Human Resources and Development
The Committee was ably assisted by Kristine Johnson and Sally Sterling of the executive search firm Spencer Stuart and by HR Coordinator Yolanda Webb, who provided administrative support.
The search for Otis’ next president took place over more than six months and has been systematic and exhaustive. In brief, the process involved preparing the Presidential Profile based on input from the Otis community, sifting through the many qualified candidates to identify those who came closest to meeting the Otis community’s shared criteria, interviewing selected candidates for further review, hosting two finalists on campus, and synthesizing the data obtained from every available source, including feedback from the Otis community following the campus visits. Below is a detailed list of the main steps that led to the selection of the President-elect:
- The executive search firm Spencer Stuart met with many Otis community members, individually and in small groups, to learn of the College’s needs at this stage in its history. A Presidential Profile, or position specification, resulted from this process.
- The Presidential Profile was widely advertised in the higher education community and posted on a Presidential Search page added to Otis’ website. Periodic updates were posted at the site.
- Potential candidates were identified and actively recruited to the position. An impressive pool resulted, each of whom sent a curriculum vitae, numerous references, and communications outlining their interest in and qualifications for the position.
- The Committee reviewed the application packages and, assisted by the search firm, identified candidates for further discussion and review.
- From that group, after extensive additional discussion, the Committee selected a small group of candidates, both male and female and including sitting Presidents and international applicants, for face-to-face interviews. Interviewees were provided with extensive data about the College, and the Search Committee was provided extensive data about each candidate.
- The search firm conducted reference calls for each of these candidates prior to the Committee’s face-to-face interviews.
- The Search Committee conducted second interviews with several candidates over a two-day period, including a dinner meeting with each invited candidate. After further assessment, the Committee selected two finalists for campus visits.
- Members of the Committee attended several of the group or open meetings during the campus visits in order to observe each of the candidates in multiple settings. In addition, a social event with Board members was arranged to facilitate conversation with each finalist.
- Attendees at any on-campus meeting were invited to complete a short online survey. Approximately 160 individuals completed surveys or provided written feedback to the Committee on the finalists.
- Formal background checks were conducted for each finalist to confirm academic degrees, employment history, and other records and histories. Each check produced satisfactory results. The search firm also conducted several additional “off-reference” conversations with respect to each finalist, including former and current superiors, peers, and direct reports.
- The search firm conducted extensive post-visit conversations with each finalist to confirm the candidate’s interest if the Board selected them, and to understand the candidate’s preliminary assessment of Otis and its challenges.
- College leaders and faculty members from the Committee participated in subsequent informal meetings and discussions with their respective peers to gain further feedback.
- The Committee and two search firm consultants met to review impressions and the feedback received from the campus visits, reference calls, and participant surveys. They synthesized the analysis of each finalist and submitted a recommendation to the Board.
- The Board voted unanimously to select Otis’ next president.
Otis’ Board of Trustees is confident that the candidate who emerged from this thorough, rigorous, and inclusive process has the experience and vision to lead Otis into its next century. An announcement of the President-elect’s name will be made in the coming weeks.